Enhanced Account Management for Supplier Ownership and Capacity Building

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Labor Solutions’ set of services is designed to shift the relationship between brands and suppliers from one of compliance to one of capacity building and ownership. Often, worker voice programs and helplines developed with a compliance mindset are designed as a ‘gotcha’ mechanism based on an undercurrent of distrust. As a result, suppliers suppress any challenges that might get them into ‘trouble,’ and do not promote helplines to workers, making them largely ineffective.

Entering the industry with an employee wellbeing background, we recognized the conflict this presented and set out to design something fundamentally different. We wanted to create tools that could empower direct employers and provide data sets that spark change-oriented collaboration and action. Rather than focusing on whether there is a problem, we developed tools that measure whether the problem was handled well. This increases communication and reduces risks.

When we designed WOVO, a key feature was its ability to facilitate two-way, anonymous communication between employers and workers. WOVO equips the employer to manage and respond to employees’ questions and suggestions. Additionally, it generates reports and provides data that can be useful for oversight.

WOVO goes beyond the capabilities of a third-party helpline by not only capturing worker’s needs, but also giving management the resources it needs to respond to workers’ concerns and help minimize future risk. This can empower facilities, encourage their promotion of WOVO and result in increased participation by workers. In some instances, WOVO has received more than ten times as many cases as the third-party grievance line. We also find that with WOVO, cases are generally solved faster, and often small issues are managed before they become critical.

For some facilities, responding directly to workers in real time and managing complaints can be challenging. That’s why we provide account management with all of our tools. However, we know that sometimes our standard account management isn’t enough, and facilities need more support.

To address these concerns, we are introducing Enhanced Account Management, a new service from Labor Solutions, designed to provide additional support to specific facilities and to help buyers sort the underprepared facilities from the negligent. Because no workplace is perfect, Enhanced Account Management emphasizes progress over perfection.

What’s included:  

  • 10 additional account management hours
  • Guided self-needs assessment and target setting
  • Additional oversight and support

How it Works:

Facilities with Enhanced Account Management will start with a guided self-assessment that identifies what standards they want to use for evaluation and any areas that they recognize need improvement. Based on the results of the self-assessment, the Labor Solutions team will work with facilities to set targets for improvement. Targets might pertain to speed of response to workers, number of worker committee meetings, utilization of tools and worker pulse scores, for example.

Each quarter, the Labor Solutions team will review utilization rates, messages from workers, and responses from managers.  This insight will be shared with the facility by the account manager during quarterly meetings. We will hold the facility accountable to its own targets and, if needed, provide specific feedback for how the facility can improve. This could include ideas for expediting response speed, using empathy, optimizing management processes, and/or identifying better ways to use the data.

To ensure that facilities maximize the utility of their service(s) and see real results, we will also convene a tri-party meeting among us, the buyer, and the facility in the event we observe no improvement or effort from the facility after three quarters. This allows the Labor Solutions team to have a one-on-one relationship with facilities and gives them time to make improvements without fear of being penalized, while still ensuring accountability. This incentivizes capacity-building and improvement.

Facilities can also always supplement with additional Labor Solutions trainings focused on communication, worker dialogue, and grievance mechanisms.

We recognize that supplier ownership comes with challenges, particularly for brands with limited resources or for facilities with a checkered past. Real change isn’t easy. With WOVO + Enhanced Account Management, facilities will receive the additional guided support they need to learn how to better initiate change from within.

To learn more about our Enhanced Account Management service email us at Laborsolutions@workplaceoptions.com